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Flood Watch in Effect for Fairfax County Through This Evening

Flood Watch for Fairfax County, Va.

Posted at 9:35 a.m.

Fairfax County and surrounding areas are under a flood watch issued by the National Weather Service through this evening. A flood watch means there is a potential for flooding based on current forecasts.

The time for the greatest threat of  flooding will be from this afternoon through tonight.

Feb. 16, 2016 weather forecast graphic

Rain, mainly before 2 p.m. with a high temperature near 48. Southeast wind 13 to 17 mph becoming west in the afternoon; winds could gust as high as 24 mph. The chance of precipitation is 100 percent with precipitation amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.

Because normal drainage areas may be blocked by snow and ice, coupled with today’s rain and melting snow as temperatures rise above freezing, small streams and tributaries may overflow their banks.

Here’s two important safety reminders:

  • Never drive through flooded roadways. Road beds may be washed out under flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown.
  • Keep children away from creeks and their potentially rapidly rising waters.

Continue to monitor weather forecasts throughout the day and be alert for possible flood warnings. If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, be prepared to take action should flooding develop.

Clear Storm Drains

Blocked stormdrains prevent the flow of rain and melting snow from reaching streams and stormwater detention ponds. The water then backs up into streets and yards and may flood basements. Blocked stormdrains also may damage residential and commercial property and cause traffic delays.

Keep the openings of storm drains clear of snow and debris to help alleviate potential flooding and to protect the environment. At no time, however, should you attempt to enter a storm drain to remove debris.

Property owners are responsible for driveway culverts and bridges that are part of the driveway structure and are not public storm drainage system structures. Storm drains outside rights-of-way and easements are privately maintained by the property owner.

To report a blocked storm drain, call Fairfax County Stormwater Management, 703-877-2800, TTY 711, or the Virginia Department of Transportation at 703-383-8368, TTY 711.

 

Winter Storm Warning

Posted at 9:40 a.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for Fairfax County and surrounding areas for snow and freezing rain, in effect until 4 a.m. tomorrow morning, Tuesday, Feb. 16.

A winter storm warning means significant amounts of snow, sleet and ice are expected or occurring, making travel very hazardous or impossible. Strong winds are also possible.

Snow, sleet and freezing rain are predicted with snow accumulation of 4 to 6 inches along  with around a tenth of an inch of ice. The snow will change to sleet and freezing rain this  afternoon and all freezing rain this evening. Precipitation will gradually change to rain late tonight.

The snow and ice will cause slippery roads and travel will be difficult.

Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) crews have been working throughout the night to plow and treat roads. Snow and ice removal operations will continue as long as conditions exist.

VDOT asks that motorists delay travel as slick conditions could develop quickly, even on treated roads.

  • If you are driving, allow extra time to reach your destination, lower speed and keep a safe distance from other vehicles.
  • Watch out for black ice, especially near bridges, overpasses, ramps and shaded areas.
  • Slow down and allow slow-moving equipment crews, such as snow plow operators, the right of way.

Get more on the forecast.

2-15-16_forecast_graphic

Fairfax County Government offices are closed today, Monday, Feb. 15 for the George Washington’s Day (Presidents Day) holiday. However, some facilities are open and schedules vary. For specific schedule information visit our holiday schedule Web page.

Fairfax County Government, Courts Open With Unscheduled Leave for County Employees Wednesday, Jan. 27; Schools Closed

  • Fairfax County Government offices are open Wednesday, Jan. 27, however employees have been granted unscheduled leave. Emergency service personnel should report as scheduled.
  • Fairfax County Public Schools are closed Wednesday, Jan. 27. School Age Child Care (SACC) centers are closed.
  • The Fairfax County Circuit Court, General District Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court are open Wednesday, Jan. 27. 

Due to the historic snow fall government facilities will have limited parking and some restricted travel lanes. Also, due to refreezing some walkways may be hazardous. Please be cautious and patient as we work to get back to normal.

Parks, Community and Recreation and Community Centers

  • If you have questions about Park Authority facilities, contact the site directly, call the Parks inclement weather line at 703-324-8661, TTY 711, or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks.
  • For Department of Neighborhood and Community Services programs and events visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/ncs or call 703-324-4600, TTY 711.
  • The Reston Community Center and the McLean Community Center may be affected by the inclement weather. Call RCC at 703-476-4500, TTY 711, www.restoncommunitycenter.com or MCC at 703-790-0123, TTY 711, www.mcleancenter.org for their current operating status. 

Transportation: Connector, Fastran

  • Fairfax Connector bus service may be affected by the inclement weather. Check the Connector Web page at www.fairfaxconnector.com for the current operating status.

 Libraries

operating status update

Fairfax County Government, Courts and Schools CLOSED Tuesday, Jan. 26

Posted 8:25 p.m.

Government, Courts and Schools

  • Fairfax County Government offices/facilities will be CLOSED on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. Employees are granted emergency administrative leave. Emergency service personnel should report as scheduled. Emergency services such as public safety will be available.
  • The Fairfax County Circuit Court, General District Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court will be CLOSED Jan. 26
  • Fairfax County Public Schools will be closed Tuesday, Jan. 26.Fairfax County experienced a historic snow storm. The county is geographically diverse, and while roads are clear in parts of the county, some areas, especially the northern and western edges, are still experiencing significant problems. Employee safety is a priority and closing Tuesday will enable VDOT and homeowner associations to clear the remainder of the roads so everyone can get to work safely.

Transportation: Connector

Trash Collection

Stay Informed

operating status update

Heavy Snow Can Damage and Collapse Roofs; What You Should Know

Posted 12:25 p.m.

Heavy snow can significantly damage roofs and there are reports in our area of roofs collapsing. Look around your home and building to look for warning signs.  There are steps you can take to avoid roof damage.

What To Look For

For Homes
Most homes have sloped roofs, which means a lower risk of roof collapse. If you have a flat roof on your home, pre-manufactured home or a portion of your home, monitor the ceiling. Look for the following signs of roof distress:

  • Sagging ceiling beneath the flat roof.
  • Leaking water dripping through the ceiling.
  • New cracks on your ceiling drywall or plaster.
  • Popping, cracking or creaking sounds.
  • Doors and/or windows that can no longer be opened or closed.

For Commercial Buildings
Most commercial buildings are designed to accommodate a roof snow load of 24 inches of dense, compacted snow. Pay attention to the following warning signs of roof distress:

  • Sagging roof members including steel bar joists, metal decking, wood rafters, wood trusses and plywood sheathing.
  • Leaking water dripping through the ceiling.
  • Popping, cracking and creaking sounds.
  • Sagging ceiling tiles and/or sagging sprinkler lines and sprinkler heads.
  • Doors and/or windows that can no longer be opened or closed.

What You Can Do

  1. If you notice any of the warning signs listed above, evacuate the home or building immediately. Call or text 9-1-1
  2. When safe to do so, clear gutters, drains and downspouts of ice and debris so that water from melting snow has a path to flow away from your home. Clear snow and ice away from exhaust vents that go through exterior walls.
  3. Be careful, falls from roofs and possible exposure to electrical wires while on the roof are serious hazards.
  4. If you are concerned about the structural integrity your home, contact a licensed structural engineer, building inspector or other qualified individual.

Stay Informed

We have many ways you can choose to stay informed during this blizzard:

Video: Keep From Slip, Sliding Away

Posted 8:45 p.m.

The sun was out…but expected below freezing temperatures overnight will bring lots of icy conditions tomorrow. Fairfax County Safety Officer Judy Schambach cautions residents to beware of black ice and offer tips to avoid slips and falls.

Governor McAuliffe and Chairman Bulova Provide Update, Emphasize Need for Patience

Posted 5:01 p.m.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe was in Fairfax County today to assess the damage of this weekend’s blizzard in our area. The Governor and Chairman Sharon Bulova provided an update on storm clean up efforts and community priorities for what the Chairman called the Big Dig Out.

Both emphasized the need for continued patience in the coming days.

“This was a massive storm event with a tremendous amount of snow. It will take a while to move it.  We have 13,ooo pieces of equipment and we are adding more resources. We in the state are responsible for 58,000 miles of roads. Please stay off the roads and let our plows do their work.” said McAuliffe.

Watch the news conference:

 

Chairman Bulova outlined her community priorities as the Big Dig Out continues:

  • Please stay off the roads. It is critical that VDOT crews are able to effectively clear the streets and public safety can respond to emergencies. You can track VDOT snow plow progress online. Clean up will take several days!
  • There are miles of sidewalks that need to be shoveled and we need your help. While you are out today shoveling, please make sure all the sidewalks and walking paths in your neighborhood are shoveled. Help out your older or disabled neighbors who are not able to shovel. We also ask that you shovel out fire hydrants. By working together, we will get back to normal much faster
  • Please avoid walking in the streets, you are putting your life in danger.
  • Check on neighbors – stop by or give a neighbor a call if you haven’t seen them in a couple days. Take a moment to see if they are OK or need anything.
  • We are working with our faith community and nonprofit partners to shelter our homeless population throughout this storm event. This is a multi-faith response and a real demonstration of our unique Fairfax County culture. If you see someone who is unsheltered call the police non-emergency number at 703-691-2131.

 

Stay Informed

We have many ways you can choose to stay informed during this blizzard:

Fairfax County Government, Courts and Schools Closed on Monday, Jan. 25

Posted 11:40 a.m.

Government, Courts and Schools

  • Fairfax County Government offices/facilities will be closed on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016. Employees are granted emergency administrative leave. Emergency service personnel should report as scheduled. Emergency services such as public safety will be available.
  • The Fairfax County Circuit Court, General District Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court will be closed Jan. 25.
  • Fairfax County Public Schools will be closed Jan. 25 and Jan. 26.

Transportation: Connector

  • Fairfax Connector bus service for Monday will be decided tonight. Check the Connector Web page at www.fairfaxconnector.com for the current operating status.

Trash Collection

Stay Informed

Video: Blizzard 2016 Saturday Evening Update

Mike Guditus, Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management, and Don Willis, Virginia Department of Emergency Management, discuss the latest weather conditions and remind residents to stay off the roads, even after the snow ends.

Dress for the Cold – Be Alert for Signs of Frostbite and Hypothermia

Posted 6:14 p.m.

We don’t need to tell you it’s really cold outside – temperatures are below freezing and with the wind it can be dangerous.

Here are tips from the Virginia Department of Health when you go outside:

  1.  Wear cold-weather clothing like gloves, hats, scarves and snow boots.
  2.  Remove any wet clothing immediately.
  3.  Limit your time outdoors.

Prolonged exposure to the cold can put you at risk for frostbite and hypothermia. Know the risk signs:

Symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite.

If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately — call or text 9-1-1 If you must wait for help, slowly rewarm affected areas.

Make sure you are dressed for the cold:

  • Wear a hat (of course!)
  • A scarf or knit mask to cover face and mouth.
  • Sleeves that are snug at the wrist.
  • Mittens (they are warmer than gloves).
  • Water-resistant coat and boots.
  • Several layers of loose-fitting clothing.
  • Outer layer clothing is tightly woven, preferably wind resistant, to reduce body-heat loss caused by wind.
  • Wool, silk, or polypropylene inner layers of clothing will hold more body heat than cotton.

Cold Weather and Health Info Sources:

 

 

 

 

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